LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID, THE ALBUM: C IS FOR CATS

For 26 days, I’m posting 26 bands to help you pass the dull necessity of spending time with your loved ones.

Today, we arrive at ‘C’. Given you’ve been in lockdown for at least three days, it’s appropriate to highlight a band almost designed for getting drunk to.

The Cat Empire are part party band, part 80s slacker band, and part party band. They’re infectious, raucous, hilarious, and just bloody well fun. The Wine Song is best listened to live, drunk, and joining the hell in. It’s 7.45 in the morning, you’ve got nothing better to do.

Let’s get pissed.

Get the kids smashed, line them up in front of the TV, and join in.

 

 

 

If you’re late to the party, here’s the rest of the playlist so far:

A is for The Angels.

B is for The Butthole Surfers.

 

 

 

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID, THE ALBUM: B IS FOR BUTTHOLE.

It’s time for the second musical entry in our own private Covidapalooza.

Each day for 26 days, I’m pulling a band out of my playlist to help you escape the tedium of being stuck inside the house with only the people, animals, or battery-powered implements you love to talk to.

Today it’s the second entry in the series. If you hadn’t guessed from their name, The Butthole Surfers are hardly a band who gives a shit about commercial success. And if the name didn’t twig you, one look at a catalogue that includes the likes of I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas, Chewin’ George Lucas’ Chocolate, and Golden Showers should really get the message across. They’re independent rock gods, with a legendary live show that has caused as many injuries as award ceremonies.

I first encountered them when their most not-as-radio-unfriendly-as-everything-else-on-the-album track Pepper, from arguably their most commercial album Electriclarryland (The one with a kid-friendly cover that depicted depicting a blood-stained pencil being shoved deeeeep into an anonymous cartoon guy’s ear. That commercial-friendly album.) captured some limited airtime on JJJ. It was love at first chuckle, and I’ve been sliding down their aural rabbit holes ever since.

Today’s song is the titular track from, perhaps, my favourite Surfers album: The Weird Revolution. It’s utterly unlike almost all of the rest of their output, but then, so is almost all of the rest of their output.

 

 

If you’re late to the party, here’s the rest of the playlist so far:

A is for the Angels.

 

 

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID: 26 BANDS FOR 26 DAYS

In an effort to pass the time between marking, setting up communications networks that will fail the first time 30 kids actually try to log in all at once, and wondering why I ever left the womb in the first place, I’ve decided to fall face-first into the 17,000-odd songs on my iTunes playlist and pick out a band a day to help you all add some musical variety to your slow-cooker bread cooking and general staring out the windows while forgetting that you used to hate everyone on your street.

Because that’s just the kind of guy I am: bored and pointless.

Some bands you may have heard of. Some may be new to you (I hope so). Some may be on the list because I’ve got precious few bands that actually begin with that letter (Waves ‘Hi’ to Queen…). But each day, for the next 26 days, I’ll shuffle a letter further down the list and post a favourite song for no other reason than because.

So, today: ‘A’ and I’m going to start off nice and easy with one of my favourite bands of all time, but one that may not be terribly familiar to denizens of plague pits outside of Australia. The Angels were Australian gods from the mid-70s through to the late 80s or so, with a string of buzzsaw-thrashing rock songs that were infinitely better live than they were on vinyl. Known overseas as Angel City due to clashing band names, they remain one of Australia’s most iconic bands, thanks in large part to lead guitarist Rick Baker’s unnatural stillness, singer Doc Neeson’s general insanity, lyrics that often verged on the abstract, and a chik-chik-chik guitar riff that remains utterly distinctive.

Here’s one of my absolute favourite tracks, performed live (as all Angels tracks should be listened to) in 1979 on didn’t-know-what-hit-them teenybop pop show ‘Countdown’: Mr Damage contains everything I’ve listed above, and is, basically, just hard as fuck.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID: FUN WITH FOURS

So, COVID-19 has happened. Are you having fun yet?

One of the reasons I’ve been so unsighted here recently is because, as even a part-time not-much-of-a teacher, I’m considered “essential” (if only they knew). I’ve been in the classroom teaching an increasingly small population of distracted, disinterested, and frightened children as their world behaves in ways they’ve never seen before. In addition, I’m following Education Department orders to transition everything I’m doing to a purely online environment, and plan for delivering the next term’s content across both in-person and online platforms.

In short, every teacher you know is currently pulling double duty as well as having to learn how to operate in a completely new environment that none of them have been trained for. Weeeeeee……..

The yippee point for me, of course, is that, having pulled off a million billion different types of workshops over the course of my writing career, I’m actually kind of used to delivering content in an online environment: I’ve done it for the Australian Writers Marketplace and the Brisbane Writers Festival among many others. So, I’m about thaaaaaaaat far ahead of some of my colleagues. It’s only the actually being some sort of teacher bit that I have to catch up on.

That said, I’ll be posting some longer diatribes about Karratha in COVID-time over the next couple of weeks. And I’ll also, as I’m going to do today, throw up a few of the silly things people are doing to keep themselves occupied while we deal with the impending (or, for many of my friends, already-arrived) periods of isolation and containment.

To whit, a little something started by my pal Toni Koller, back down in my old haunt of Rockingham. Enjoy. Copy. Play along.

 

Fun with Fours

Four names I go by:

1. Lee

2. Battboy

3. Tatterdemalion

4. Mister

 

Four Places I’ve lived:

1. Nottingham

2. Kambalda

3. Narrogin

4. Rockingham

 

Four things I love to watch on TV:

1. The Prisoner

2. The Good Place

3. Murder documentaries

4. Battlestar Galactica (the reboot)

 

Four places I have visited:

1. Bali

2. Singapore

3. Brisbane

4. Phuket

 

Four things I love to eat:

1. Lasagne

2. Licorice bullets

3. Chicken Caesar salad

4. Pea and ham soup

 

Four of my favorite beverages:

1. Pepsi Max

2. Vanilla malt thickshakes

3. Mango beer

4. Lemon, lime, and bitters

 

How about you?